John L. Creech

Published 11:06 am Friday, August 14, 2009

Born in Woonsocket, R.I., he was the son of the late Edward and Bessie Faulks Creech. He was first married to Amy Wentzel Creech, who died in 1984, and was the widower of Elaine Innis Creech, who died in 2003. Dr. Creech was a graduate of the University of Rhode Island with a B.S. in horticulture, received his M.S. degree from the University of Massachusetts and his Ph.D from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Creech served in the U.S. Army during WWII, when he was a POW from 1943 until 1945 and received both the Bronze and Silver Stars. He retired as director of the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., in 1980 before moving to North Carolina.&bsp; Dr. Creech then served as interim director of the Western North Carolina Arboretum and remained active as a member of their board of directors until his death. He was a member of OFLAG64 Prisoner of War Association and numerous international scientific organizations.

Dr. Creech is survived by: two daughters, Diane B. Martin of Lavonia, Ga., and Victoria C. Waterstradt of Largo, Fla.; one son, John Creech (Connie) of Orlando, Fla. his fianc´e, Norma VanSchaick Kuhn of Tryon Estates, Columbus. Also surviving are three grandchildren, Charles L. Brittle Jr., James Hodge and Candi Atkinson and two great grandsons, Charles L. Brittle III and Evan Atkinson.

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A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 in the Tryon Estates Auditorium.

Memorials can be made to the Western North Carolina Arboretum, 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville, N.C. 28806-9315 or Hospice of the Carolina Foothills, 130 Forest Glen Drive, Columbus, N.C. 28722.

An online guest register can be signed at

McFarland Funeral Chapel, Tryon.